Cleveland at Dallas

Williams, Cavs use big fourth to take down Mavs wire reports

DALLAS -- How's this for a stretch of possessions to open the fourth quarter of a close game: Long jump shot, longer jump shot. Feed a teammate for a layup, then swish another jumper. Get another assist, then nail a 3-pointer from so deep that your defender walks away saying, "Whooo."

One of the Cleveland Cavaliers did exactly that Monday night -- and it wasn't LeBron James.

With James watching from the bench, Mo Williams powered that 13-0 run, sending the Cavaliers well on their way to a 100-81 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

"That's what they expect," said Williams, acquired in August to ease the load off James. "Tonight was a great sign. It was a long summer for me, two surgeries. I expected to get going kind of slow, but it was frustrating when you're used to making shots, making plays."

James still made his share of plays, including a key stretch in the third quarter after Dallas wiped out a 16-point deficit and tied the game at 63.

When Daniel Gibson missed a shot from the corner, James zoomed in, grabbed the rebound and banked it in, all in one motion. He followed with a three-point play and a pair of free throws. The Cavs ended the quarter up by six, then Williams put away the game, giving Cleveland its first road win after two losses.

"It's a nice win, a good way to close out the road trip," said James, who finished with a season-high 29 points despite shooting only 8-of-20. He also had a season-low three assists; he came in averaging 9.3.

"It's all about defense," he added. "We took a stand. When they tied it up, we buckled down and worked defensively. Then we made some shots. I didn't shoot the ball particularly well, like I know I can. I was in attack mode all night, but I missed some shots I know I can make."

Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki used almost the same words to describe his poor shooting.

After making his first shot, putting the Mavericks up 2-0, he missed his next seven tries. He didn't have another basket until late in the third quarter, and Dallas never led again.

"You're not going to totally stop Dirk Nowitzki, but the combination of Ben Wallace and Anderson Varejao did about as good a job on Dirk as I've seen since he's been in the league," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said.

Nowitzki finished with eight points on 3-of-11 shooting, his worst performance since scoring seven against New Orleans last December. The Mavericks also fell to 0-2 at home.

"It just wasn't one of my nights," Nowitzki said. "We just never really got going. We looked slow, we looked sluggish."

Josh Howard led the Mavs with 18 points. Antoine Wright and Gerald Green were the only other players to hit double figures, each scoring 10. Jason Kidd had nine points and six assists.

Zydrunas Ilgausakas had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Cleveland. Delonte West added 14 points and Wally Szczerbiak had 10. Wallace didn't score, but had 13 rebounds.

Cleveland led 28-12 late in the first quarter. Other than the stretch that culminated in the third-quarter tie, the Cavaliers were hardly challenged. Fans began streaming out after Williams' big roll, while those who stayed seemingly stuck around just to boo.

New Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said his guys weren't aggressive enough in going after Cleveland's misses. It was that way from the start, he noted, recalling that the Cavs grabbed four offensive rebounds the first 3½ minutes.

"You've got to be pursuing the ball or making contact," Carlisle said. "We were doing neither."

Dallas goes to San Antonio on Tuesday night. The Spurs are 0-2.

"They're desperate for a win," Carlisle said. "There's no time for us to mope."


  • Dallas' Jerry Stackhouse did not play. Carlisle said Stackhouse is battling a foot problem.
  • Brown was an assistant to Carlisle in Indiana. "I learned a lot from him," Brown said. "I'll always be indebted to him. Great coach. Brilliant mind."
  • Wright returned to the starting lineup despite having been benched the entire previous game. His reward was covering James. He covered Tracy McGrady in the opener, his other start.
Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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LeBron James, who scores 29 points, raises his game when the Cavs need him the most. (Getty Images)
LeBron James, who scores 29 points, raises his game when the Cavs need him the most. (Getty Images)
Cleveland (2-2) «28232128100
Dallas (1-2) 1626241581
CLE:L. James 29 Pts
CLE:B. Wallace 13 Reb
CLE:M. Williams 6 Ast
DAL:J. Howard 18 Pts
DAL:D. Diop 9 Reb
DAL:J. Kidd 6 Ast
Players of the Game

J. Howard

L. James

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D. West, SG344-53-445214
L. James, SF348-2013-1583129
M. Williams, PG346-121-146314
Z. Ilgauskas, C328-151-2112217
B. Wallace, C220-40-013030
A. Varejao, C251-30-26142
D. Gibson, PG253-100-02207
W. Szczerbiak, SF204-62-230510
L. Wright, C50-10-00010
S. Pavlovic, SG30-10-01000
T. Kinsey, SF30-14-40014
J. Hickson, PF31-11-20013
E. Snow, PGDid Not Play
J. Williams, FDid Not Play
D. Jackson, PFDid Not Play
Totals 35-7925-32521923100
J. Howard, SF337-154-752318
J. Kidd, PG323-62-22619
D. Nowitzki, PF323-112-26218
E. Dampier, C242-21-28145
A. Wright, SF213-73-411410
J. Terry, PG251-82-20315
D. Diop, C242-40-19034
G. Green, SG164-72-240310
J. Barea, PG160-20-00100
B. Bass, PF124-90-00008
J. Singleton, PF50-04-40004
J. Stackhouse, SFDid Not Play
D. George, SGDid Not Play
S. Williams, SFDid Not Play
Totals 29-7120-2635162081
Other Games
Chi 93 Final
Orl 96
Sac 91 Final
Phi 125
Det 101 Final
Char 83
GS 79 Final
Mem 90
Utah 89 Final
LAC 73